lifestyle

How Crazy Can Psychiatry Really Get?

When we think about psychiatric disorders, usually one word comes to our minds: Crazy! From the madly rushing lunatics to the mellow social outcasts, psychiatric patients are a part of a field that encompasses a wide range of neuropsychological disorders. While conditions such as schizophrenia are commonly used words among the general population, the distinguishing features of these ailments are often overlooked. Rather than focusing on the physiological aspect of disease etiology and pathophysiology, let’s make an attempt to get a hands-on view of this intriguing field of medicine. Here are three of the most common psychiatric disorders with a focus on their individual clinical features: 1.     Schizophrenia Literally speaking, schizophrenia means “splitting of the mind.” It is a disorder that results in the splitting of thoughts in the affected individual’s brain, resulting in an inability to maintain a clear train of thought. Some of the clinical hallmarks of the disorder include: A)   Primarily auditory hallucinations (possible visual hallucinations) B)   Forming illogical associations (such as “the foot I put out the door will determine whether or not it will rain today”) C)   Social decline and isolation (inability to hold a stable position in society) D)   Negative symptoms (lack of normal functioning abilities, such as clear communication with others) E)    Positive symptoms (characteristics that add to the neurological functioning of a normal individual in order to affect thought processes; these...

What is “Good Medicine”?

An unexpected trip to the immediate care clinic in my neighborhood a few weeks ago left me pondering “good medicine” – what I like to call the administration of health care that addresses not just the physical, but also the emotional needs of the patient and truly encompasses what I feel it means to be an excellent physician.   (this has some inappropriate language but it’s a hilarious gif so…) It started on Sunday with a mild stomach ache that over the next 24 hours quickly devolved into what I delicately termed “lower GI upset” on the medical information sheet I was given to fill out when I arrived at the clinic. Three days with no reprieve convinced me to get myself checked out. After sitting for about ten minutes in the waiting area I was ushered into a chilly exam room and my vitals were taken by a friendly nurse.     I then waited for another ten or fifteen minutes for the doctor. Jovial with a friendly laugh, he put me immediately at ease and from the description I gave of my ailment, quickly determined that I most likely had a virus in my digestive tract which should resolve itself soon with the help of a few OTC medications and what he called a “GI Cocktail” that I could take before I left. After checking my pulse, he also decided to administer an IV since I was extremely dehydrated....

The New ALS Ice Bucket Challenge: “Feeling Nuts”

After an impressive run, the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge appears to have reached its end. But fret not, trendsetters.  Another challenge has already supplanted the trendy fundraising campaign that raised over $100 million for the crippling condition known as Lou Gehrig’s Disease. With everyone’s favorite Hollywood canis Hugh Jackman, and Star Trek’s Captain Kirk (William Shatner) leading the charge, the “Feeling Nuts Challenge” is exactly what it sounds like–a campaign to raise awareness for testicular cancer. Testicular cancer is particularly common among younger males, and roughly 8,820 new cases of the disease will be diagnosed in the United States this year. Follow the challenge on Twitter with #feelingnuts  ...

Move Over #tbt: Now Trending, #BrainTumorThursday

When I stumbled across the hash tag: #BrainTumorThursday, I was really taken aback—how did something as serious as a brain tumor become a trend akin to #womancrushwednesday and #selfiesunday? I prayed it wasn’t some kind of horrible joke and was beyond pleasantly surprised when I followed the hashtag link and found a heartwarming asssortment of thousands of enlightening tweets full of encouragement, education, awareness and even a few appropriate laughs regarding brain tumors, research, current patients, survivors, and their stories.   Maybe daily social media trends are evolving beyond the often narcissistic sentiments that follow with #throwbackthursday (look at how cute I was as a baby! [we’re all probably  guilty of this]) or #selfiesunday (this one doesn’t even need an explanation)… Thank you for restoring my faith in humanity #BrainTumorThursday.   Check out some of the best tweets below, or tune in every or any Thursday on Twitter to see what’s new in the world of brain cancer:     Side-note: #BTSM stands for Brain Tumor Social Media. It took me way longer than I’ll confess to figure that one out.  ...

Sara Bareilles & Cyndi Lauper’s New Video for Pediatric Cancer Will Make You Smile and Cry

Singers Sara Bareilles and Cyndi Lauper combined forces in an effort to raise awareness and fight pediatric cancer.   I don’t care how tough you are, this video will send you spiraling into a whirlwind of emotions, and is liable to make you smile and...

To Frappucino or Not to Frappucino: The Caloric Expenses of an All-Nighter

As Almost-Doctors, we’ve all spent more than our fair share of late nights, if not all-nighters. And unless you’re superhuman, you most likely rely on a variety of study snacks and caffeinated beverages to power through those long nights of orgo or biochem or pharma. Sure, you knew that the Venti Mocha Frappucino wasn’t the healthiest, but caffeine is caffeine, right? Not quite… Click the image to...

A Flu for Who? An Influ-Venn-Za Diagram

The sun starts to set earlier, the wind picks up, the temperatures drop, and the lecture hall echoes with a symphony of sneezes and coughs… it’s flu season.   To guide you through every doctor’s favorite season, here’s a little information and history on the different types of influenza strains that can affect various animals and humans. Click the image to...